How to manage (Oracle) ACE’s?

There has been a lot said and written about the Oracle ACE issue. Howards “Devalued” and “Revalued” posts, triggered a lot of emotions and commented visions and I think that this is the way it should be. Don’t say that there isn’t an active blogoshere. I saw one. I read a lot of stuff about what the community is doing and what we think it should be.

As I, indeed, said to Doug, getting / being passionate is part of the deal. I think this is the minimum an “ACE” should confirm to. You like it or you don’t (the Oracle stuff out there), or at least you are passionate about it.

I mean, somehow, in all the mess (bugs, etc) I encountered over the last 10, 15 years; I still like it. For me it is software and being software being made by men, this is just the standard part of the deal. Live with it or get a different job. Switching to MS SQLServer or DB2 won’t help. You will have to deal with the same old problems (it only has a different taste).

Via slashdot i found an old article that I thought I had lost. I like this article very very much. It says a lot of what I think will work regarding “how geeks tick”. Maybe this could also help Oracle in managing the ACE community. Those ACE’s are the thoughest crowd out there, so solve the judging problem, by letting it be solved by themselves.

So from that perspective (based on the article)…


  • You’ve got to have your own geeks ACE’s
    – shouldn’t be a problem I guess
  • Get to know your geek ACE community
    – this would, should be essential
  • Learn what your geeks ACE’s are looking for
    – at least involvement in the process
  • Create new ways to promote your geeks ACE’s
    – ACE Directors? Ahh, maybe not. One title is enough.
  • Either Geeks ACE’s are part of the solution — or they’re the problem
    – shouldn’t be a problem, we love it to much…
  • The best judges of geeks ACE’s are other geeks ACE’s
    – just general wisedom; or at least that’s what I think…
  • Look for the natural leaders among your geeks
    – Howard, Jonathan, Tom or ?…for President!
  • Be prepared for when the geeks ACe’s hit the fan
    – didn’t that just happen the other week…?
  • Too many geeks ACE’s spoil the soup
    – the Acedom will devaluate

You should read that article, I think it is a must (and I am glad that I found it again).


Marco Gralike Written by:


  1. Pete Finnigan
    September 12

    I have to say that you don’t need to be an ACE to be passionate about Oracles products, this is clear as a lot of people who are passionate are not ACE’s.

    If you are passionate about something (anything really)- in this case Oracle – you don’t need ACEdom or any other status awarded to you to be told / recognised that you are passionate, you simply are passionate.

    I can see the analogy with geek status or even the old true meaning of hacker, i.e. like the Gospers and Greenblats or Steve Dompiers of the world but wouldnt practical help in research, furthering knowledge be better than ACEdom, free metalink access, direct access to developers, product leads, create more affinity and accord instead of an ACE sticker. These true pioneers, craved for system access and time and in later years built their own systems, this furthered their knowledge and in turn everyone elses.

    If someone is furthering the knowledge base it indirectly promotes Oracle products, get to know the people, help them do it more efficiently – give back – funding research, funding open source, books, papers…. all of these fall into the same category.



  2. September 12

    @ Pete

    “I have to say that you don’t need to be an ACE to be passionate about Oracles products, this is clear as a lot of people who are passionate are not ACE’s.”

    Of course your absolutely correct. The thing I mentioned regarding “ACE’dom” was that I see this as a essential part, the minimum an “ACE” should confirm to.

    Speaking for myself, being credited for your efforts is cool, but should not be the reason that runs the engine.

    I totally agree with what I refer to as “the drive to excel” in what you are doing, furthering knowledge. I wanted to add this aspect, but it was early in the morning when I added this post (and who reads this anyway)

    Being allowed to participate in an Oracle beta test was a great adventure and believe me that I didn’t make the development teams happy with some of my inner beliefs of how things should work in practice.

    My hope is that I contributed to the whole process. My wife is still a little bit angry about that I spend to much own (family) time into the whole process.


  3. Pete Finnigan
    September 12

    hey Marco,

    I can concur completely with the spending too much time. I work all day, i often surf / write before I start work from 7am and often I go back to my computers in the evening “when I can”..:) and write, research, write code, read or whatever. For me its about learning more and more, not about a tag. To bottle that essense and use it is hard, I don’t think Oracle (or anyone) can effectively control that passion if you will, they can use it, benefit from it, help it.



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